The Cucumber Incident

item used in The Cucumber Incident

I saw a good documentary on July 26th, on the Sundance Channel. It is called “The Cucumber Incident” and tells the story behind a true event that involved 3 women from Delaware, Ohio and one of the women’s estranged husband who was born and raised in McComb (about 10 miles west of Findlay). It happened in July 1997.

It seems that the husband, Randy, who had been convicted of child molestation of his young step daughter, was accused of further abuse of the girl shortly after getting out of prison. The main accusation was that he had french kissed the child.

The 3 women included Randy’s wife, Jewel, her mother Mary, and Mary’s sister-in-law Vicky. They decided that Randy needed to be taught a lesson. They attacked him, tied him up, shaved all the body hair off his body, stripped him naked, and stuffed a cucumber up his anal cavity. After that they decided he need to go home to McComb so they rolled him up in a blanket and drove him the 150 miles. Then they dumped him out on the street behind a pizza shop.

Jewel and Mary, who had dumped Randy in McComb, were arrested just outside of Findlay on their way back to Delaware after Randy freed himself and called the police. Vicky was arrested a day or two later in Delaware. The women agreed to a plea bargain to reduce the charges from kidnapping and rape. Each served several months in prison and each had to register as a sex offender. They also had to get treatment that is required of convicted sex offenders.

I liked the film for the main reason that the filmmakers didn’t do any voice overs. They let the participants tell their story. In some cases one person would tell a part of the story and then another would tell their version of the same part. Sometimes those parts were the same but most of the time you could see the contrasts.

The film didn’t judge the women or make them heroes and they didn’t make Randy out to be the monster he probably is.

There was also the side story of Jewel’s children being removed to foster care after her arrest. The county refused to give them back saying that the women were a danger to the children. Mary went on and on about how Christian she is and that the foster family were also good Christians. Her main complaint was the foster family didn’t celebrate Christmas and refused to let the family to give the children gifts. (“The foster family just bakes a birthday cake for Jesus.”). The foster family also had all their kids names start with the letter ‘B’ so they just changed the two girls names to conform.

My view of the whole event was the women, no matter what the motive, crossed the line by exacting revenge. The fact that Jewel didn’t boot Randy while he was in prison just astounds me. She just let him back into the home almost as if nothing had happened. Mary blamed the county for not keeping Randy away from the home and her daughter when it is clear Jewel had that choice.

Of course the whole family has issues of one kind or another (I am very familiar with some of those issues in my own family).

I also learned that French kissing children, while repulsive, is not sexual abuse as defined in the Ohio Revised Code. Mary complained that she told the police when the child reported the kissing and they did nothing. Children Services even had the child examined at Children’s Hospital in Columbus and they found no signs of abuse.

I got a perverse chuckle seeing the women, who acted to “defend” the child, being forced to register as sex offenders and attend sex offender treatment AND the child was removed from the home anyway.

Of course the other side of me feels bad that they weren’t allowed to introduce their motivation for the act which could have helped them in a trial. Since they were prevented from doing that they plead guilty to reduced charges.

It also showed how bad the sex offender laws are in Ohio. When you create inflexible criminal laws you get unintended consequences. Registering also punishes you for the crime for the rest of your life even after you do your time and the other punishment you get from the community (loss of job, family, friends, etc…). Being labeled a sex offender doesn’t protect the children, it only helps the community know who to fire bomb or beat up should another child report abuse even if the person is guilty or not. The women probably will never commit another sexual offense yet they will be sex offenders for many years to come.

If you get a chance to see the film see it or rent it (if it comes out in video). They had some good shots of McComb and Findlay.

directed by Melodie Calvert and Bonita Makuch
67 MINS, Color

Originally published on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”

22 Replies to “The Cucumber Incident”

  1. Funny – I didn't need to scroll to the bottom to find out if the writer were a man – it was obvious about half-way through the article. And I'm sure one without children. Speaking as a mother of two (soon to be three) children, and having been severly molested by a close family friend at the age of eleven, I can tell you that I would have been capable of a whole lot more!! Even if it weren't my own child, the instinct as a mother to protect ALL children goes very deep. My attacker was never punished – in part because I was not "raped". Funny how you had to have a penis forced inside of you to have it become a crime 20 years ago. I don't care how small the act – it can affect a child for the rest of thier lives. 

  2. There are everal victims in this true life crime/drama. Do my ears deceive me or did I hear Rodney, the confessed molester, say what was done to him was worse than what he did to Leah. He needs to go back to the sex offender classes!One "crime" that is still being committed is the state run (which means tax payer supported) counseling. State emplyees are being paid to "counsel" these particular women. Maybe they should be out there tring to rehabilitate the career criminals. Statistics of pedophiles show that every convicted molester has already molested approximately 30 victims. And nearly 50% of molestation victims go on to victimize. That is why we have an exponential growth of victims.Does this area of Ohio ever say anything to the lawyers?Y'all need to elect some better folks! A few of them should have their heads examined. I certainly don't want to start sounding like a vigilante, but they need a clear headed, Godly, mature man to tell them that "french-kissing" a five year old child may not be against the law, but it certainly is not a societal norm or a goal.Did anyone else wonder why a man didn't just go to the house and beat the crap out of him and tell him to pack his scrawny butt and go home to Mommy? (Maybe his mommy liked french kissin little boys?!?!?!?) And then he would be told that he would never be safe there and his butt was in trouble until he left. If Rodney, the confeesed molester, callled the police after a run-in with one of those big strong men, there would not have been the evidence. And the circle continues….the law successfully prosecuted the women because of the evidence. Little Leah doesn't have evidence, but I bet she will act out her "evidence".

  3. What a huge injustice to the woman and the children…It's about time woman took the law into their own hands when it comes to "men" touching thier children. I would not have used any baby oil..he got off easy. Good for them. 

  4. What a huge injustice to the woman and the children…It’s about time woman took the law into their own hands when it comes to “men” touching thier children. I would not have used any baby oil..he got off easy. Good for them.

  5. I feel so sorry for all the women involved. I wish that I could help them, and hope that they know that they were deeply wronged. "The Cucumber Incident" was a courageous and justified act–even appropriate to Rodney's "rehabilitation." His humiliation and fear–since that's all it was in the circumstances–is more likely to be effective than his imprisonment. The women have been victimized by the courts, child protective services, and the couselor dispensing post-imprisonment "treatment." I absolutely do not agree that they are rapists. The arrogant and ignorant judge and prosecutor should be booted out of office. 

  6. That pervert got what he deserved!!Women always get more time in prison than men do for the same crime! this is a man's world ans is unfair as they come from women and are born women inside the women tell the cromisons split!! I was molested by my Dad!!!! May he burn in hell!!! 

  7. What a miscarriage of justice. Those little girls would never be harmed by their grandparents. That pedophile got what he deserved. Through no fault of their own, those little girls lost their grandparents that they loved!!!!And how crazy is it that thru counseling those poor women would have to make up sex fantasies. Insanity!!!An eye for an eye!!!Perhaps cucumbers should be part of all pedophile rehabilitations. 

  8. i saw this movie and thought that the women got off too easy. I see how the double standards are with men and women sex offenders, men are sent to prison and then register, but women get counseling and a slap on the wrist. Those women should have spent at least 10 years in prison to realize they commited a crime and it was wrong. 

  9. I just saw the show on 4/20/05 and i have to say a few things. Ohio law needs to change, shame on all law officials who tried to reunite the family after his conviction, and to thinking that was in the best interests. And to the prosecutor, Shame on you , you shouldnt even hold the job you have, if that is the way you handle all cases, maybe that is why they call it criminal justice!!! Rodney acted like the victim in the story, Heres to you Rodney … you 'll never be the victim and they should of used a zuccinni on your ass! Sorry women for the time you had to spend locked up, At least it was for something worthwhile, but yet i dont think you should of served any! As for the comment from adam….. see how you would feel if it was your child that Rodney spent time with and had oral sex with and stuck his tongue down her throat… your ignorant buddy!!! 

  10. I just finished watching a documentary on the Cucumber Incident. As a survivor of child sexual abuse, having someone love you enough to risk their life and freedom does a lot towards helping the soul heal. One note for the author of the site, Vickie IS NOT Mary's sister, she is her sister-in-law. If you are going to post information, I suggest you get it right. 

  11. I think the Prosecutor in this case was wrong. According to the Ohio Revised Code, sexual contact (meaning inappropriate or criminal touching)is defined as the prosecutor says, erogenous zone of another etc, but it also says "including without limitation of ….etc) meaning it is NOT limited to those areas. you have to look at the PURPOSE of the touching which states…"for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person." That means the offender's purpose and unless this is a current definition is not the same as the definition at the time of the trial, the father did commit a sexual criminal offense on his daugher that NO ONE paid attention to. At the least wouldn't it be gross sexual imposition. I hope the women get their attorney to ask the governor for a pardon so they can be a family again. I was also offended by the idea that these women were "rednecks" and that "white collar and upper income people can be rehabilitated" because they "think" about what they have done. What a boob. The law is supposed to treat us all equal under the law. 

  12. I hope that Leah is comforted by knowing that her family loves her and are willing to protect her. French kissing a child IS molestation – no matter what Ohio code says. If the mother was to be put in prison it should have been for allowing Randy back in the home, not for the cucumber incident. She owes it to her children to protect them. As for Grandma and Greataunt – WAY TO GO, LADIES!!! You too, Greatgrandma, for trying to hide the younger child. I even give Mom a thumbs-up for participating and doing a little to begin making up for her failures. The children are still being victimized by the state. They should be with their grandparents, not in a foster home. I regret that it didn't teach Randy anything judging by his comment that he was hurt worse than Leah. He will victimize more children when he has the opportunity. 

  13. I have watched the documentary.. Ohio is pathetic when it comes to our children! While I realise what they did was wrong, perhaps it was'nt. If The Leaders of Ohio would crack down on these animals male or female that hurt our children things like this would never happen! Check Morrow County Ohio statistics! The County swarms with them & if they assault a child they get a hurry send off to Florida! Of Course that depends on who you know in Law Enforcement or The Judicial System! The children mean nothing to them, it costs to much to Prosecute the offenders & takes up jail space. It's needed for outside flow of cash! While by law what they did may have not been legal, I understand how emotions blocked reasoning abilities! It's sad the loss of having the children near occured! I also noted a comment about sending him back to Sexual Offender classes. Morrow County does not even utilise that in Ohio to my knowledge! For molesting a four year old & admitting to several other counts you get 30 day's in Jail!Is it no wonder Morrow County Ohio is what #1 or #2 in the state! They should post a sign Sexual devient's wanted in Morrow County! Anyway I thought the documentary was good! I liked his haircut they gave him! They should have made him a salad out of the cucumber before they took him for a ride! Observing & comparing Delaware Prosecutors I wondered if they were so stern on males or are they perhaps bias like Morrow County! Personally I think they was to hard on them! The mother of the child I realise had problems & yes I do not feel her choice to stay with the pervert was right for the childs sake.. None the less I loved the Grandmother & I cracked up when the other stated she took the child & went to Morrow County!Spunky but little did she know she went right to Pervert City! Now he would have gotten a medal of honor for frenching her in that County! & those woman would have delt with tremendous domestic violence no doubt! 

  14. Anyone who belives these women didn't get what they diserve is absolutely wrong. Hypothetically imagine a group of men taking a woman, and raping her with a cucumber simply because she kissed a young boy. In that sence you'd demonize that group of men. What an injustice to say these women didn't get what they deserved. I was raising my hands up in the air when the documentry came to the point where the women became prosecuted felons. Justice was served, and it makes me sleep at night to remember that these crazy women were put to justice. Great documentery. 

  15. I saw this program on 8/01/05 and was completely appalled that they would allow this sex offender to come back into a family that he had abused. Where is the justice for that child? Or her infant sister? I understand there were problems with the mothers emotional state, but the grandparents seemed fine. I see that the law gave them no choice but to act in defense of the children. What I dont understand is these so called humans that are in law enforcement jobs do not seem to take into consideration of individual cases, they are all stereotyped into categories and sentenced upon whichever one they feel they should fall in. Who cares if she was given the red badge? Her grandchildren needed a hero and it sure wasnt the people who were paid to protect her! This is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life! What adult is going to say that french kissing a child isnt wrong? Would these attorneys and judges not call the police if a relative french kissed their baby girls? Please you know you would!!!! So why not defend the ones that this has happened to? And these sex offender classes are unreal! They seem to create a sex offender! Your homework being that you have to go home and rape a family member and then write a 2 page essay on it? OMG!!! Where is the justice for this family????? 

  16. You go girls!!! I just finished watching the documentary about "The Cucumber Incident". Many is the time we see in the paper or on the news, where a young child has been abducted, only to find out when it is too late, and the child is dead, that some pervert like Rodney had molested him/her first. I think these women did what any mother or grandmother would have wanted to do in their place. What people fail to keep in mind when persecuting these women, is that our children are the most precious things we have. Children never deserve to be mistreated like that. That child was an innocent victim in this case, and all anyone can talk about is what the guy, Rodney, went through. Quite frankly, he got off easy. What they really should have done is gone Lorena Bobbitt on him. This man does not deserve to have his freedom, no less his penis. I have never had to know what it is like to be a molested child, and neither is my daughter. But let me tell you, if someone were to touch my child in an inappropriate way, there would be hell to pay. Because, I would not care what happened to me. I would want revenge, and I would not be remorseful for what I'd done. All of these people talking about what they did was not chrisitan, and so forth, need to just shut up. Anyone who finds something good or godly in what happened to that child is a sick individual. And, if there is a god, I'm not sure that he is any better than the devil for letting such things happen to the most innocent of souls. As for Rodney, to say that what happened to him was worse than what he did to the child, says that he is not remorseful, nor does he regret doing that to her. I think he needs to fry in hell. Instead, he is leading a life of a free man, while these women are paying for trying to teach him a lesson. I think they should have gotten a chance to explain why they did this, and then maybe the jury would have sided with them. That is if anyone in Ohio has a conscience. Because, it seems as thought the legal community does not. Maybe one day one of their children will have something horrible like this happen, and then something might get done about changing the laws in Ohio. 

  17. Something keeps bugging me about these women…and it seems to me since I hate sex abuse then how can I possibly myself in any way commit the act of sex abuse on anyone. It grosses me out and I would definately feel like a sex offender myself if I committed the horrible acts they did..the entire incident left me feeling "dirty" if I had done the same thing myself to someone. Somehow it was like the pot calling the kettle black.We do not raise our children that if someone does something wrong to them that they are to go out and do the same wrong. It was the adults who should have been protecting these children but the mother wasn't doing it as she had no business having that guy in her life. I guess this is the good ole 2 wrongs don't equal right!I do believe the children should be released from foster care and returned home–the children always end up sufferning. 

  18. The problems stemmed from way back when the grandmother and her daughter told their story of divorce, a new marriage and how the girl felt totally out of place in the new family. She too has a huge responsibility for letting Rodney back into the home with the child he was molesting. Nothing was handled right. Totally disfunctional people and as ALWAYS it is the children that suffer. 

  19. Doug, I have seen the movie! Do I think the women were right? I think they went overboard, but I do not know my own self what I would do if anyone man or woman even breathed wrong on my children. The human mind is still a mysterious thing when it comes to how we cope with things. I know that some years ago, a man molested a young boy and after 1 year in a mental facility was let out. He still lives in our community and does not have to register as a sex offender even though the boy he raped had to have reconstructive surgery to his rectum. I think that the laws of Delaware and perhaps Ohio should have been more forceful with Rodney but on the other hand, Jewel should have exercised better judgement on who she chose as a husband. I think no, I believe that a child molester period should have to spend the rest of his or her life in prison because child molesters are very seldom ever rehabilitated. You can see that if you look at the Polly Klaas case or the cases of Danielle Dunne and others that have been in the news. But back to the Cucumber Incident, in conclusion I think the women were wrong in the lengths they went to. I also think that the people in a place to have done something should have french kiss or not, the law should have done something! Do I think Mary Franks should have gotten custody of her grandkids, well yeah I do because with counseling the girls would have had a good up bringing. I do not think they should have had to go to STOP and maybe the STOP program should be re evaluated! After all, these women were not pedaphiles and needed a different type of counseling services not the STOP program. I do not see how even with sex offenders making up sexual crimes would benefit their rehab! For 6 years I have been involved with a group called the West Memphis 3. Three boys now men who were victims of real small town politics! I hope Doug you will visit their site, and let me know what you think about them! Nikkitrueblue 

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